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48 Costa Savona Cruise Reviews

have been on lots of cruises and this was so bad I cut it short and travelled back to the UK as I was so desperate to get away from the horrific experience, The cruise was a rip off and everything was geared towards getting as much money ... Read More
have been on lots of cruises and this was so bad I cut it short and travelled back to the UK as I was so desperate to get away from the horrific experience, The cruise was a rip off and everything was geared towards getting as much money from you as possible No/little entertainment on board so we decided to play the daily bingo - no thanks it was buy 2 tickets and get 2 free at £40! Yes £40 for a game of bingo so gave that a miss and just wandered aimlessly about the ship with nothing to do. Husband decided to have a game of poker - £16 a hand so easily lost £100 in a couple of minutes once again could not afford to continue with that rip off activity, Trips were extortionate £112 for a ride into Rome when the train fare was only £13 return. No information on board the ship so we did not know what was going on - yes we understand that it is an Italian cruise line but could some things not have been told in English for the benefit of British customers? The ship was rammed to bursting, nowhere to sit in the evening and the drinks package was £175 each everyone in the cabin had to have the package even though I do not drink alcohol so it was expensive for me for a couple of soft drinks and coffee. The food was disgusting, portion sizes small and took hours for the food to arrive. I am a vegan and even though I was guaranteed vegan food, the most imaginative they could come up with was a plate of grilled vegetables and cold undercooked chips again and again and again and again.......Never again will I go on a costa cruise be warned. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa ... Read More
This is an Italian ship and all of the passengers were European. The staff, many of which were Philipinos, all spoke fluent English, the passengers spoke either French or Italian. This was our second trip in 2016 on the Costa Luminosa, a ship we really like but, the decor is very Italian. The design of the ship and the rooms is very comfortable and well planned. Moving about the ship is very easy; plenty of elevators and we particularly like the theaters on Costa which have space for accessing seating, cocktail tables for drinks, and moving within the rows is very easy. The cabins are spacious when compared to other cruise ships of this size. The food, usually 4 or 5 courses, consists of pasta/risotto and assorted sea food items and occasionally steaks. Meat served on this ship is not dry aged as one finds on ships attracting mostly US clientèle but overall, the food is very good. Those from the US may find many of the plates unusual, things such as octopus, mussels or cuttlefish may not be items one typically eats but all were very well prepared. The entertainment was generally good, albeit with difficulties in appealing to a varied audience which can speak up to 5 different languages. The is rarely any live music in the theater most all is recorded. After two voyages on Costa, we give it an overall favorable rating. Progression in their loyalty program, the Costa Club, is relatively easy and one can move up through the levels quickly. Costa offers a variety of drink packages and I would strongly recommend participating in at least one of them as drinks, even water, can be difficult to obtain outside of meal times. Costa charges significantly less for gratuities than do many other companies, even their photography costs much less, often at only 10€ a picture. For those from the US, Costa will be a different experience. Dinning is later in the evening and nightlife really starts at 11pm. Because of the late dinning times, breakfast is not as important as one may be used to and breakfast buffet offerings are limited to cold cuts, pastries, and fruit. However, full breakfast, eggs and other hot items are available in the restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The cruise was alright. A rather basic operation, no luxury or frills. For example there is no coffee offered with your evening meal, no tap or iced water is available in the restaurant, the food was very mass catering - unmemorable, ... Read More
The cruise was alright. A rather basic operation, no luxury or frills. For example there is no coffee offered with your evening meal, no tap or iced water is available in the restaurant, the food was very mass catering - unmemorable, fairly tasteless and ofter tepid. The worst part for a solo English speaking passenger was the loneliness of dining either alone or at a table of non English speaking Italians or Russians. On my first day I got a questionaire asking if I was alright with the cabin being cleaned only once a day and would I prefer that to be in the morning or the evening. The entertainment was the usual mindless non verbal, energetic song and dance shows which cruise companies feel obliged to offer their multinational audiences. Other minuses were the two hour wait for the transfer to pick up at Milan Airport before the two hour coach trip to Savona, the tortuous wait on the last day between being turfed off the ship at breakfast and the evening flight that Costa included in their fly cruise package, the reduction in the all day in Naples promised when booked and around which my arrangements for that day were made, to the half day only which we got, because I was told of the time needed to get from that port to the next!! Don't Costa plan their schedules with that information?!! Otherwise good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have done 5 cruises with Costa this was the worst.food was bland no water at table the waitress was the best thing about it.the cabin was very noisy as we were at the front asked to change but said ship was full so several days ... Read More
We have done 5 cruises with Costa this was the worst.food was bland no water at table the waitress was the best thing about it.the cabin was very noisy as we were at the front asked to change but said ship was full so several days didn't get much sleep.cabin was kept clean but the cabin boy was not very helpful.days at sea were boring as not much entertainment put on.there were only 50 or so English so maybe that didn't help.entertainment was not up to much maybe the language was at fault.think we have had better cruises with Costa feel we shall look to other cruise lines.staff were very unhelpful only the reception were helpful.nobody dressed up much at night formal night was a no no.we also don't like paying the 11.50 euros a night would rather reward the helpful ones as not many staff deserved it.the intinerary was good that was why we choose it not again Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
A wonderful holiday,on the most beautiful ship I have travelled on.Immaculate and spotlessly clean,art works and sculptures to admire,and clever design.Our cabin was an ordinary outside,but so spacious and well equiped,and great cabin ... Read More
A wonderful holiday,on the most beautiful ship I have travelled on.Immaculate and spotlessly clean,art works and sculptures to admire,and clever design.Our cabin was an ordinary outside,but so spacious and well equiped,and great cabin steward. Dining in the buffets,very good ,lots of choices,restaurants excellent,to be born in mind the number of people includind crew,to be catered for,I really can't imagine the skill neccessary in the galleys. Entertainment crew were amazing,keeping up that energy all day and evening,crossing the equator,never to be forgotten,what fun.Impressive theatre,good variety of shows. As a group of 8 people,we did our own thing ashore,using taxis,we enjoyed Brazil,Buzious,the smallest,was the most interesting and attractive. All the crew were very polite and friendly,happy to chat,though of course we were aware this was an Italian ship,and most passengers were Italian,we were very well looked after,and provision made for British passengers. So take no notice of people who only take time to complain,a holiday is how you make it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I am sitting on my balcony in Cerrife, Spain on the Costa Delioza. The ship is beautiful! The ports are amazing! The Service is AWFUL. The Staff is Arrogant and Indifferent. The food is NOT EDIBLE! My dog eats better. I ... Read More
I am sitting on my balcony in Cerrife, Spain on the Costa Delioza. The ship is beautiful! The ports are amazing! The Service is AWFUL. The Staff is Arrogant and Indifferent. The food is NOT EDIBLE! My dog eats better. I have taken a Costa Cruise before. It was pretty good. They have cost cut to the point to being the worst. When you have a problem. The staff just looks at you like you are a moron. They shrug their shoulders with a " What do you expect attitude." The ship is always late at starting anything. They are punctual, sometimes very early at closing something that requires work of effort on their part. You are really going to be be better served staying at home then going on a Costa Cruise. It is hard to imagine that in this day and age, something this bad is actually in the market place. The WORST! They are especially proud that they do not cater to Americans. Americans know better and would not stand for a third rate offering like Costa. They have also cut out any and all cruise frills. Want pizza, be prepared to pay. Want a hamburger? Be prepared to pay. Want ice cream, get your wallet out. They fail to make announcements of leaving a port. They do not sound their horn. They do make Sale announcements all day everyday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our 9th cruise. First time in Costa. Food in dining rooms was nasty. Buffet was good, but too many people went there. Probably because they didn't like dining room food either. Beware of bread - it's rock hard, not ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise. First time in Costa. Food in dining rooms was nasty. Buffet was good, but too many people went there. Probably because they didn't like dining room food either. Beware of bread - it's rock hard, not edible!!!! Staff is stuffy, not friendly sa on carnival or Norwegian. Also, they don't know anything. We were lied to about the drink programs numerous times. We had our souvenir hard rock tshirts disappear from our cabin and found somewhere else on ship. My nieces tennis shoes disappeared also. People leaving and joining cruise at every port. Safety drill every day for newbies. Which was very disappointing for people already on cruise because bars were closed, and that's the only place to get drinks, coffee etc. Had cabins 2026 and 2024 ( had hair and dust in shower/ bathroom). Even so we had nice weather they never retracted the roof for the pool deck. It got hot and stuffy in there. Not much action anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Overall a good experience, however, our cabin 6270 was placed right above the 4D cinema, it resulted in a noise-level over over 90 dB in the cabin, and a vibrating floor. Please read the full cabin-review below. We did the ... Read More
Overall a good experience, however, our cabin 6270 was placed right above the 4D cinema, it resulted in a noise-level over over 90 dB in the cabin, and a vibrating floor. Please read the full cabin-review below. We did the Mediteranian tour from Savona-Marseilles-Barcelone-Mallorca-Rome and La Spezia Marseilles is a dump, I do not understand why it's part of any cruise, it's a city which seems to be falling apart, don't go there, only the old city centre is worth a visit. La Spezia was a pleasent surprise, visit the Cinque Terre if you go there. The ship is new, from 2014, everything seems to work fine, the style is Las Vegas bling. The crew is very helpful and serviceminded, however, the service-desk is a bit arrogant and it's like they don't listing to what you have to say. We didn't do any of the Costa organized tours, but went on our own, that worked out fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Costa Pacifica 9th Oct 16.  Savona, Marseille, Ajaccio, Cagliari, La Valletta, Rome, Savona.  Some nice ports on this short cruise even we ventured ashore in two of them decent weather made my slow walking enjoyable.  Our second ... Read More
Costa Pacifica 9th Oct 16.  Savona, Marseille, Ajaccio, Cagliari, La Valletta, Rome, Savona.  Some nice ports on this short cruise even we ventured ashore in two of them decent weather made my slow walking enjoyable.  Our second time on the Pacifica not much had changed so we knew our way round, very easy embarkation  due to our Suite booking, was dreading the queues at Savona after the new club rules downgraded Gold Pearl to just priority boarding not preferential.   Enjoyed a really nice lunch in what was the Club Restaurant now set aside for Suite guests & Perla Diamante club members, but also for any paying guest who wish slightly nicer surroundings with mainly tables for two.   We elected to eat in the MDR for our evening meals as we enjoy a table for six with company, this proved to be a great choice as we met two from Norway, who told us a little more about that Country, & a couple from six Miles from where we live.  On to the food, in my opinion it is getting  un-expiring & very bland, limited in choice  to just two of each & very hard to understand what is being offered, surely someone should investigate why so much is being left on plates, I was glad however of the extras offered of Shrimp & Lobster even if being charged for them (15E) they saved the night at least twice after not finding anything to my taste on the Menu. A couple on our table were appalled by the menu's after cruising with Costa in the late 90's & telling friends about the wonderful food served to them then, I can relate to that as I still have most of those fabulous menus from those days.   Although mostly the same dishes were served to suite guests with perhaps one extra they did seem slightly better prepared & cooked, if fact I think we may just eat there on our February cruise, & least I won't have to pay for the Shrimp & lobster dishes.   The cabin was well appointed & nicely set out, spotlessly clean, choice of pillows was an added bonus as I do like a soft feather one beneath my head. A little about the difference between these suites & a premium balcony, they have extended the bathroom which now has a Jacuzzi bath, shower & a dressing room, bags of storage space both here & in the main cabin, overall just slightly larger than the normal balcony cabin, also being offered at the moment is the best drinks package the Intenditore (@ 49.95 euros a day free) for purchasing a suite. Not to sure that the so called Butler was of any use other than to serve breakfast, he never once asked us if everything was okay or if we wanted anything, I found him a little off-putting and would rather have had the cabin steward who was a delight.  Only went to one show but put off by the number of guests sitting on the stairs after show had started, chatting a blocking any chance of an exit should we need to leave. This practice should be stopped close the doors after the start, they were still coming in 30 minutes later, one even lent against my leg while sitting down, causing me some pain. However those on our table said they were enjoyable & mainly the songs were in English.  Booked this cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Blue Grotto in Malta having tried twice before with other lines & cancelled, pleased when tickets turned up and boarded the coach, only to be told boat out had been cancelled due to heavy waves & we were taken to top above the Grotto to look, oh dear I couldn't make it down the steps so had to sit up top till they all came back, so just going to have to book another cruise there, so I have another chance. (note to all wishing to see it, don't go while I am on board.)  It might sound that we did not enjoy this cruise, nothing could be further from the truth, Costa have proved once again what great value for the money their cruises are, & even with the falling standard of food choices, we still enjoy them overall, and look forward to our February cruise with them.  Marks out of ten, for service, cleanliness, value & perks we must give a good nine.  Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just back from a week on the Costa Diadema. Would suggest to everyone to go with another company as Costa made us feel like a burden on numerous occasions throughout the week. English was the fifth language on board after Italian, Spanish, ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Costa Diadema. Would suggest to everyone to go with another company as Costa made us feel like a burden on numerous occasions throughout the week. English was the fifth language on board after Italian, Spanish, French and German. The schedule, procedures etc. were chaotic and confusing for us and every query we made to a member of staff was met with eye-rolling and annoyance. The desk staff at reception on level 3 are particularly unhelpful and plain rude. With a few exceptions (in particular a very nice and helpful waitress named Leabel) we found the vast majority of the staff on board to be unconcerned with looking after guests and it seems that upselling, blowing off queries and complaints and doing the bare minimum for guests is the order of the day on board this ship. This was our first cruise with Costa and will definitely be our last. There is a serious attitude problem which usually starts with the senior staff and filters down and we feel this is certainly the case here. Initial cruise cost us 900 euro for the week for 2 which was very good value. Our extras bill at the end was 1580. So almost 2500 in total for 2 people for the week. We feel that for that we deserve better and can certainly get much better elsewhere. Aside from the attitude of staff which was by far our main gripe there were not many other redeeming factors for us. The buffet food was good but always cold. The sit down restauants which were included in the initial price were very nice but the food was not as good as the buffet which shouldn't be the case and again food was always cold. We upgraded, to the higher restaurant package (which we feel is Costa's aim anyway) and those restuarants were excellent, especially the Teppanyaki. The entertainment during the day was quite good with usual mix of quizzes, dance classes bingo etc. The evening/night was different with very little to do other than gamble in the casino, or attend poor music shows. We feel as it was set up so that most people would not be up all night making the most of the drinks package that they purchased for 200 euro per person.The pools are tiny. Again we had to pay extra to use a sauna, steam room & hot jacuzzi in the Samsara Spa which were beautiful. Simply you have to pay more for everything and if you don't you'll struggle to fill your time and will find it boring (again we feel this is not by accident on Costa's part). The excursions were all very overpriced so we did not book any of those, the wifi was expensive, there were two english TV channels in the cabin (BBC news & Aljazeera) and very poor selection of movies to rent which cost 9 each. Costa advertise their 4d cinema, scuderia simulator & star lazer as highlights of the ship but they are all terrible and should be included for free but again are extortionate. The ship itself is huge, lovely and clean and it's a shame that with some very simple changes by Costa this could have been an excellent trip for us and everyone else. Anyone who tells me they enjoyed their trip on this ship, trust me you can do much much better for your money. We could live with the entertainment and facilities not being up to much but when the staff including managers and senior staff are as rude as we experienced on this cruise it makes the whole experience feel terrible. Rant over, and if even 1 or 2 people read this review and decide not to travel with Costa we would be happy as losing business is the only way that this company will change their ways and look after the customers much better that do travel with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was a 9-night "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules" Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Favolosa. It was our first cruise on Costa (we live in the US and previously had been on Carnival and Celebrity in the Caribbean). We enjoyed ... Read More
This was a 9-night "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules" Mediterranean cruise on the Costa Favolosa. It was our first cruise on Costa (we live in the US and previously had been on Carnival and Celebrity in the Caribbean). We enjoyed the trip very much. First, we chose this cruise primarily because of the ports (Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona) and had wanted to board in Barcelona, however that was sold out, so we booked the next day out of Savona, because we couldn't find any other cruises that competed with this one on ports. a bunch of great places to visit and we'd go back to any of them. (But come on Costa, leaving Barcelona at 13:00? That needs to be a longer stop.) First question we had: how to get to Savona? We took the transfer to and from Nice train station. They take your bags onto the ship right from the bus as you board, but during disembarkation you must claim your luggage and take it to the bus yourself. I would highly recommend Nice as an "extra" place to visit if anyone is wondering how to get to Savona. We flew to Paris, took the train to Nice, and stayed 3 days before and 2 days afterwards. We did a day trip to Monaco (25 minute train ride from Nice) and explored Nice itself and the beach. The transfer was US $34/person if I remember correctly. Cabin: we had an "inside premium" cabin, chosen for the important fact that it was the cheapest one. You don't get to choose your dinner time with this type of cabin, however we asked in the dining room to change (early to late) after the first night and they did. Cabin was fine, no complaints. Food: There are two main dining rooms, and they serve dinner half an hour apart, at 18:30 and 19:00 for first sitting, and 20:45 and 21:15 for second sitting. You can also eat at the buffet from 19:00-21:00. We had the 21:15 sitting and found that dinner took around an hour. We had table mates for two days and the rest of the time were by ourselves at a big table, mostly likely due to the lack of other English speakers. Dinner has a theme each night, based on food from a region of Italy, and then there are "standard" courses that you can always order. There are three courses that together make up the main meal, and then dessert. We both got to try quite a few things we hadn't had before and had some great stuff, figuring if we don't like one course, it's just one, however we liked the vast majority of food we ordered. There's an optional salad. Some things will be marked either vegetarian or made from previously frozen ingredients. We ate at the buffet for dinner only once (due to wanting to be up early for Barcelona the next day), the food there was fine and comparable to lunch but not as good as the main dining room. We really enjoyed the food at dinner in particular. There's a snack time with sandwiches (sometimes there's a vegetarian one, sometimes not) and pastries from 16:00-17:30 in the buffet (we had this every day due to the late dinner time), and breakfast and lunch are served in the main dining room and buffet. We ate one breakfast in the main dining room and every other breakfast/lunch at the buffet. When going to the buffet, always walk by ALL the lines (some are along the sides) as there can be ones with different stuff, and you risk filling your plate at the first line only to see someone walk by with something you like better that you didn't know was available. This includes the area with the pool and giant TV as they set up an extra buffet line here a few times. At breakfast, don't miss the egg/omelette station as the main buffet just has cold items. There, you can get an omelette to order, eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns. Check the times for meals in your newsletter, because outside the times mentioned, there are plenty of times when no "free" (included) food is available. So, if you have just come back on the ship after a day of walking around and are hungry and it's 17:20, get straight to the buffet as it's about to close and you'll have to wait until 19:00 for it to open up again! This is different from the two previous cruises we have been on, but we didn't find it to be a problem as long as we were aware of the time and schedule. Drinks: If you booked through Costa USA (doesn't matter if you're a US citizen), you'll get "Waterusa" package included automatically, which gives you bottled water at mealtimes in the main dining room. If you don't have this package, you'll have to pay for water in the main dining room only. The buffet has water, regular and decaf coffee, and different teas included for everyone when it's open. Lattes, cappuccinos, etc aren't included and you'll have to pay for those if you don't buy a package that includes them. We bought the "Pranzo and Cena" (lunch and dinner) drinks package which was I think €15 or €16 each per day. We don't usually pay for drinks even when eating out, however we though that we could get our money's worth with this package (and we did). It includes house red and white wine, and one type of beer, during mealtimes only (not snacktime) at the buffet and main dining room. Note that the package description simply says "beer and wine" and does NOT specify that you only get to the three choices I mentioned, so don't book it intending to try several wines/beers. I suspect that this is also true of the "next package up" which includes drinks at any time at the bar and some cocktails, because another couple we talked to implied they also just got the house wine/beer with their package, but I am not entirely sure of this. Note that if you have late dinner, you can head to the buffet at 19:00 and it's mealtime there so you can have a drink with your Pranzo & Cena package. Dress code is in the newsletter (check the left hand side of the inside of the newsletter next to "Buona serata" written sideways). We had two "Formal/gala" nights, generic "informal" nights, and special informal nights: "Red/black", "all white", and "red/white/green" (plenty of passengers wore other colors on these nights, don't let that put you off). Even on the formal nights we saw a few people in the main dining room with shorts and t-shirts on (shorts are against the dining room dress code but I didn't see anyone turned away). There were also some people dressed in evening gowns and tuxedos, so it is really up to you. Buffet dress code is pretty much just "no swimsuits". I can't say anything about the entertainment or activities as we didn't go to any. I noticed several advertised shows were marked as being in Italian so that keep that in mind if you like going to shows / activities and don't speak Italian. Ports: Top notch. Great places. We booked on excursion in, you guessed it, Casablanca, after reading numerous other people's experiences online. We did the Rabat tour and enjoyed it. Our group was German/English and the guide repeated everything in both languages although the group was almost all German speakers. We saw other tour groups combined like this: "Italian/Spanish" for example. We ran into another couple who did a tour of Casablanca itself and they enjoyed that. In Valencia, we paid for Costa's bus which takes you into the city and thought it was worth while, even though we are usually the cheap do-it-yourselves types. You can wait for a free bus to take you to the port exit, but there was a big line for this and I'm not sure how frequently they ran, also the port exit is quite far from the city center itself. Our goal was to wander around exploring the city so the time savings helped. We walked from the ship and also took the metro in Barcelona and Lisbon. Time is very tight in Barcelona so the metro helped because the dock is some distance from the tourist parts of the city, and the 10-ticket combo is a good deal if you are going to buy more than 4 rides and multiple people can use it. In Malaga, Cadiz, and Lisbon the ship docked right close to everything and we had no problem walking to everything. Internet access is available for €0.19 per minute for unrestricted, if you buy the "social media" 24 hr package, that one will restrict you to the listed sites (facebook, twitter and so on). Both "at-sea" days took us close enough to shore to pick up internet for at least a half hour (and get a good view of Gibraltar). Now onto the "warning", if you haven't guessed it already, it's: Communication/organization issues. There are a lot of "oh, huh, didn't know that" moments. To help mitigate this: if you are unsure of something, have a question, or something seems "not right" (drinks package not correct on your card, no charge listed for excursion you know you booked), be very proactive and ask as soon as you notice there might be a problem so that they can fix it (which they did, for all the various small questions we had). It's entirely possible that things are explained a little more clearly or in more detail for the Italian speakers (who are most of the ship by far). Next most common are French, German, and Portuguese speaking passengers. I will say that EVERY crew member we spoke to spoke English, and on two occasions we overhead Italian passengers complaining about staff who didn't speak Italian. So despite being a tiny minority on the ship, when speaking to the crew we had no problems communicating, which was very fortunate. Examples of things to watch out for: The bus transfer from Nice train station says "in front of the station" but it actually is down the street a bit. Thankfully, the Nice Tourist Information Office *is* in front of the station, and they're well aware of this issue, and will direct you to the right place (we got the sense they're a little annoyed with Costa after doing this hundreds of times!). We pre-booked a drinks package online which wasn't printed correctly on our cards when we boarded. I booked this on the last day possible, and it was after midnight in Italy when I did it, so I don't really fault them for not having it on the cards. But, it did take several "back and forth" trips between the customer service desk and the bar (each telling us to go to the other to resolve it), before the desk printed us correct cards. Check your card for this problem when you board. Dinner on the first night was advertised as a half hour earlier than it actually was (due to dinner being advertised in both dining rooms as starting at the earlier time of the two, they're a half hour apart), leading to people hanging around by the door waiting. Then, later in the cruise, the newsletter advertised dinner at 21:30 (15 min later than normal), which we asked about specifically by stopping in the dining room in the afternoon, and were told, yes, it's 21:30. It turned out to be 21:15 after all, but fortunately we were not so late as to really miss out when we walked in. There are frequent time zone changes due to the various ports, and these are well documented ahead of time in the newsletter, announcements, and we were reminded by the waiter at dinner as well. However, we saw a few times that the time shown on the TV in the room (on the ship's info channel) was incorrect, so don't rely on that to check your watch. If you're not a European citizen, they will take your passport when you board and give it back to you at the end of the cruise. If you're a dual European/other citizen and you find out about this after you've booked, don't worry, you can change the citizenship information on the Costa website and hold onto your passport. There was a note telling people that if they want to leave the city of Casablanca on their own (not on a Costa tour), they need their passport for that time, so if that affects you (because they took your passport) make sure to find out what to do ahead of time. Hope this helps some people who are looking into Costa cruises - I tried to provide plenty of information (especially the "wish we'd known" stuff) as that can seem like the hardest thing to find when you're looking at cruises and trying to find what to expect on Costa! Again, overall it was a great trip and we would recommend it. Thanks for reading this far and happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our 24 th cruise and our second with Costa. The frist being many years ago and it was our second cruise ever. I've never written a review for the other cruises, but I felt compelled to do so this time , wishing to help ... Read More
This was our 24 th cruise and our second with Costa. The frist being many years ago and it was our second cruise ever. I've never written a review for the other cruises, but I felt compelled to do so this time , wishing to help inform other travelers about my expencience. Hard earned money and vacation time should not be wasted ,the selection of cruising with Costa , well I would advise people to do their homework before selecting Costa. I wittiness many things on this cruise that I have never seen before and perhaps what most stood out was the attitude of most of the crew and senior officers. Of course there were some members of the crew that did a great job, but they were the minority. Arrogance, bad attitude, lack of respect and un Professionalism was the norm. it's hard to pinpoint why this type of culture exits onboard, but perhaps one factor is now that gratuities are mandatory in the form of a per person amount daily, called a hotel service charge and no longer can it be removed from your account. ( gratuities always existed in some form,) what is different , you no longer can , as many passengers prefer to give their gratuities in an envelope directly to the people who served them during the cruise and I am sure that not all have given what was expected, therefore cruise company's are developing other ways to guarantee the crew members receive the amount requested.) I understand their predicament, but this has led to an unbelievable attitude on board. It seems that most of the crew have developed an attitude, we don't have to earn our gratuities , so if I'm arrogant, rude ,tell people to get out of my way, run them over ,throw things around and could not careless about any form of customer service, it doesn't matter, I will still receive my money anyway. Our room was the worst I ever seen, 5-6 feet of a soaken wet carpet in front of the bathroom for the entire cruise. Despite maintenance coming serval times it was never fixed, they gave extras towels to put on the floor and a fruit basket with their apologizes wow This ship is extremely ordinary and Poorly run, I would not recommend it to anyone, there is much more available out there for your money, chose wisely, cruising is a great way to travel- but never again with COSTA . Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Did the first 30 day leg of this cruise Savona to LA. Very poor communication on all aspects prior to cruise. Advertised drink packages confusing and mistranslated from Italian to English. In addition upon boarding discovered all ... Read More
Did the first 30 day leg of this cruise Savona to LA. Very poor communication on all aspects prior to cruise. Advertised drink packages confusing and mistranslated from Italian to English. In addition upon boarding discovered all wine, beer and water was free at lunch and dinner, nice surprise if you had already bought a drinks package. Boarding was shambolic, poor directions at port, no indication of where to go or where to deposit luggage. Once on board directed to level 9 for lunch but no indication that cabin was ready, only found out hours later from conversation with other guests after hanging around the buffet for ages. No option for dinner other than the 6pm (too early) or 8.30pm (too late) sittings, or pay for a pizza or burger on level 9. Suffered minor cold and sniffles, (which ran rampant around the ship) but forgot to pack any aspirin. None available on board unless you pay 62 Euros to consult the doctor, most expensive aspirin ever. By the way you could buy condoms, so no headaches please. Library cramped and books difficult to access, internet exorbitantly expensive, 99 Euro for 3GB, my home satellite package is 60GB for about 30Euro, so that is quite a mark up. Food average, and repetitive, cabins reasonable (had a balcony on level 8), evening shows fair to poor. On board crew helpful and trying, problem seems to be management incompetence and general penny pinching. No English language news except CCTV (China) and Korean TV. No CNN or BBC, yet multiple Italian,German, Spanish stations. Did have CNN and BBC for first day or so them mysteriously disappeared. Official line is technical problems but suspect it is about the Dollars Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Problem with one enginer start before NYZ. Metting in the thatre,kapten say we are safe,all passager get on new cruise for fre,all the passenger screem hhhhuuuurrrrraaaaaa,so happy. What hapen IF the The lost enginer brook out.we ... Read More
Problem with one enginer start before NYZ. Metting in the thatre,kapten say we are safe,all passager get on new cruise for fre,all the passenger screem hhhhuuuurrrrraaaaaa,so happy. What hapen IF the The lost enginer brook out.we shame. Officeal languids was 5,italy,german,france,spain,and bad englisch. They most have an scandinavia crew. The food loks werry atractive,but dont small anything nothing. Coffemachine was open 2times in à day,morning and afternoon 4-1730. Ju most have an drinkpaket,anyway it's gona be werry expensive for you. All presentation in the theatre are 5langues,we sleep before they start. When we have gala dinner,maybe 20ptocen was dress,ashamed. IF you dont go to the restaurang on the eveening you gona sleep hungry,IF you dont bay pizza or burger,Moneybrother money.ashamed. Same god things,the ship was so clean. You most learn chefs to dont serve red burgare,and till them about garlic an pepper. It's werry difficult to have an table with lunch,people ho dont have an balcony cabbin are sittning all day and play card.ashamed.we have cruissing over 20times but nerver see a cruise boat like Costa luminosa. Newer more Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We choose the Cruise because at the first sight there were some "exotic" destinations (Casablanca, Tanger) but at the end, these cities were extremely disappointed (dirty, no "magic", only the names..). At the first ... Read More
We choose the Cruise because at the first sight there were some "exotic" destinations (Casablanca, Tanger) but at the end, these cities were extremely disappointed (dirty, no "magic", only the names..). At the first day in Marseille, the ship docked at 9 km from the city and Costa took us 11 eur/person for bus transport (which was supposed to be free). When we returned to the ship, there was a huge queue at the buffet, people were hungry and have to stay in line over 30-40 min. to take the food and then wait for 10-15 min to find a free table. There are not enough tables at the buffet (which was open until 15:00), the service lines closed in front of us without any explanation (even there was plenty of food). In Casablanca the ship docked at 3km from the port exit and they provide no bus to take us out of the port which was dangerous enough. In Civitavecchia we were supposed to disembark at 9:00 am but the disembarkation started at 9:25 so we lost the train (had tickets paid 3 weeks before) and wait over one hour for the next one. Overall, we spend more then 4 hours during our vacation on Costa "Magica" complaining about the conditions and the "hospitality service" was extremely poor and totally hostile to us. All the day-time shows were only in italian (without any translation). The food at the breakfast was poor, there were hours during the day (especially when the people returned from the cities) when no food was enabled. Any extra (eg. pizza, ice-cream, pancakes), had to be paid. At the end, as a "final gift" they charged us a "service" fee of 10 eur/person/night even this was not mentioned in our contract and informed them about this. Overall, I think that Costa is trying to maximize their profit charging anything they offer instead of focusing to customer satisfaction. Costa Magica=an experience we will never repeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 4th or so cruise. We have sailed on MSC through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken . All services are ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 4th or so cruise. We have sailed on MSC through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken . All services are more expensive but much worse than at MSC. Every day we returned from the town to the ship there was a huge queue at the buffet and there are not enough tables at the buffet. Breakfast was poorly. In Civitavecchia we were supposed to disembark at 9:00 am but the disembarkation started at 9:25 so we lost the train (had tickets paid 3 weeks before) and wait over one hour for the next one. Water from the toilet was broken for 3 times. The balcony door was broken for every 3 days. Air conditioning made a loud noise and we can't rest at night. Overall, we spend more then 4 hours during our vacation on Costa "Magica" complaining about the conditions and the "hospitality service" was extremely poor and totally hostile to us. Crew did not seem very concerned about issues or complaints - they seemed indifferent to our concerns. We will never sail with Costa Cruises again and would not recommend it for any one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Having cruised with MSC, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before plus one time with Costa, I can hardly be categorized as loyal to any particular cruise line. To me, any cruise is a good cruise and I always try to find the perfect ... Read More
Having cruised with MSC, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before plus one time with Costa, I can hardly be categorized as loyal to any particular cruise line. To me, any cruise is a good cruise and I always try to find the perfect match of itinerary and value for money. This Costa cruise included a number of interesting ports such as Tangier and Casablanca where we participated in excellent excursions offered by the ship. In Marseille, we walked about 900 metres and then took a local bus (no 38) to the city centre ( at 3.60 Euro for a day pass) - much cheaper than the shuttle bus offered by the ship. We then took another bus up to see the church Notre Dame de la garde from which there is a fabulous view of the old harbour. Furthermore, iif you do not mind walking, you can easily experience both !Lisbon and Cadiz on your own on foot. In recent years, Costa has limted the places where onboard smoking is permitted, which suits me fine. However, unless my memory fails me, they have also cut back on their buffet breakfast options, leaving out hot dishes such as scrambled egg and bacon. Consequently, you have to go to the restaurant in the morning if you want to have an international brakfast. However, if you choose to do so, you can both serve yourself from the buffet in the restaurant or order from a comprehensive menu of different types of breakfast items such as Belgian waffles, American pancakes and various omelettes. If you are back late onboard after having been ashore and are hungry, you will often have to stand in line for a long time at " The Grill" which on many days is the only place to get hot lunch options in the middle of the afternoon. On a more positive note, the various types of beef served in the main dining room in the evenings were all very delicious, and the menu never failed to offer something to my taste. I would, however, have welcomed "icecream" on the list of " always available" items. If you are a night owl you may be rather disappointed to find that the bars close rather early, and even the disco - which mostly semed tobe full of very young teens - stop serving the guests at 3 am. As on other cruises, many guests were up early hoarding sunbeds, but as Costa had limited the space between the sunbeds to sqeeze in as many beds as possible, I never had any problem finding a sunbed. Furthermore, unlike on MSC, no decks were reserved for frequent cruisers with special membership which again increased the possibility for finding a vacant sunbed. Costa is known as the budget cruise liner, but you should be aware that their service charges are as high as € 10 a day. Also, most cocktails cost € 7.45 (plus 15% service charge) which may make you consider opting for the Piu Guso beverage package ( € 29 a day). You can also get a beverage package of 40 softdrinks/ non-alcoholic cocktails for € 110. As on MSC, water is not offered for free in the restaurant, and coffee and tea is only available for breakfast and the afternoon snack. Furthermore, juice is only available in the morning. The fitness centre was larger than what we have experienced on most other ships, but unfortunately some of the machines did not work. We did not go to see more than a few of the shows in the theatre but instead spent several hours listening to a fantastic duo called "Gisele & Daniel" who performed each evening in the atrium on deck 3. Costa has really hit jackpot by signing on this charming and talented Brazilian couple who outperformed any duo we have ever listened to on our previous cruises. Weighing the pros against the cons, I think we got good value for money by choosing this Costa cruise. However, Costa is far from ever becoming our favourite cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on ... Read More
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on Cruise Critic and elsewhere because of the itinerary and because we previously had defied negative reviews of MSC and had a very positive experience with them. Embarkation was at Savona and was very badly organised. We waited for over an hour sitting around in a building in the port along with a huge crowd of other passengers before being allowed to board. Far less efficient than our experiences with Princess, Norwegian, MSC and Royal Caribbean. We had booked a suite and this gave us priority in boarding and when we were taken to our cabin we were very pleased with the accommodation. The quality of the accommodation was the most positive aspect of the cruise. However, when we looked around for the coffee machine which had been promised in the brochure and asked where it was we were told that the coffee machines had not been delivered and would not be available. Another disappointment was that our “private butler” turned out to be just another cabin steward serving a whole number of suites. Also, our daily bowl of fresh fruit was seldom really fresh with wrinkled peaches and plums and apples with rotten brown blemishes on them. The food in our private dining area was the biggest single disappointment. The dishes were poorly executed and over-elaborate Italian cuisine which were mostly tasteless and bland. Worst of all was that almost everything arrived at our table lukewarm or cold. One day we had fish with steakhouse fries which were actually cold ! Uneatable. Nothing tasted freshly made by the time it hit our table. This is the first cruise where we actually sent dishes back because they were so bad. Compounding this was the slow and disorganised service in the dining area. The waiters seemed to be badly trained and worked with no sense of urgency or commitment. Since one of the things we usually most enjoy on a cruise is the food, we were very disappointed. Also tea or coffee is available at no extra charge in the dining rooms only with breakfast, with lunch and dinner it is charged to your account. Another major disappointment was the lack of a decent day-time entertainment programme. There were no movies in the theatre, few interesting instruction sessions and little worthwhile music. The shows in the evening were OK. The on-board shops are the least interesting of any cruise we have been on – only two shops and none which sold pharmacy items such as asprin, toothpaste, sun tan oil etc. On the third last day of our voyage the toilets on our deck (I don’t know about other decks) would not flush. This was repaired but recurred. You can imagine the smells that permeated the cabins. Now, a warning to English-speaking cruisers. The language on this ship is Italian. We had pre-booked one excursion and planned to book others as we went along. However, the booked excursion with an English commentary was cancelled because, it turned out, we were the only English speakers among the whole of 3,000+ passengers. Rather than miss the excursion (to Avignon) we went along with the Italian language guide but it was painful not understanding the commentary. We did not go on any other excursions because none was available in English. Also, if you hate cigarette smoke as much as I do, find another cruise line. Smoke is everywhere even though smokers are supposed to indulge only in designated areas and on cabin balconies. Our cruise also had a number of families with young babies which cried a lot and on a couple of occasions woke us up at night. Also there were a lot of young children who were allowed to charge around the dining areas, disturbing diners. The only positives on the cruise were the quality of our cabin accommodation and the WiFi which was charged by size of download rather time spent online. Would I cruise with Costa again ? Definitely not. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. ... Read More
I preferred to try an European Line after have done many cruises with British and American Lines. I specially liked the food. The cabin was excellent as well as the cabin service. Entertainment and features of the ship very enjoyable. What really stood out for me and made my holiday very special was the Hungarian Latin Dance Group. They were four outstanding professionals and kind human beings. The two bands playing in the Grand Piazza were superb. I would like to do another cruise with Costa mainly because of them and the Entertainment Team, formed by Italian, Spanish and Brazilian nationals. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The one disappointment was Ingrid, the Hotel Officer. My wallet was stolen in the Port of Savona just before starting the Cruise. She just was not interested in my problem and frustration. With the help of my son from Britain I could get money sent to the next Port: Barcelona. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are regular Costa cruisers in our mid 50's. The itinerary appealed to us. We started in Savona and disembarked in Hamburg. 8/5/16(Sunday) Stansted to Milan. Transfer to Savona and embark. 9/5/16: (Monday) Marseille. ... Read More
We are regular Costa cruisers in our mid 50's. The itinerary appealed to us. We started in Savona and disembarked in Hamburg. 8/5/16(Sunday) Stansted to Milan. Transfer to Savona and embark. 9/5/16: (Monday) Marseille. 08h00-13h00. 10/5/16(Tuesday) Cruising 11/5/16: (Wednesday) Cadiz. 09h00-18h00. 12/5/16: (Thursday) Lisbon.08h00-17h00. 13/5/16(Friday) Vigo.09h00-19h00 14/5/16: (Saturday) Cruising 15/5/16: (Sunday) Le Havre. 09h00-20h00. 16/5/16: (Monday) Dover08h00-20h00 17/5/16 :( Tuesday) Cruising 18/5/16: (Wednesday) Hamburg. 08h00-disembark Preparation started the Wednesday before the cruise. The 3 fur balls needed their flea/dewormer drops prior to going to the Cat Hotel. Immediate suspicion! It did not help that our elderly lady had to go to the vet for blood tests as well. Mum in the dog box or is that litter tray? On the Saturday before departure the cats were boxed up and taken to the cat hotel. Only then could the suitcases come out and packing commenced. I had to pack for 12 days and flying Ryan air made that quite an art. We were flying from Stansted to Milan from where we had a Costa transfer to Savona. I was in a total panic about this because our flight was supposed to land in Milan at 11h30 and the transfer was supposed to leave at 12h00. Costa told us that they won’t wait for longer than 15 minutes and if we were late we would have to make our own way to Savona. Our trusty Taxi man Mark collected us at 05h40 and we were at Stansted about 35 minutes later. Apparently he does not get many speeding fines. It was the usual scrum at Stansted and I did not know that the Kindle needed to be in the tray for security so I had my case searched. Lesson learnt. We had a coffee at our usual watering hole and were once again surprised to see people drinking alcohol before breakfast. “Vodka and coke please”. Yuck. Don’t get me wrong as I like a drink as much as the next person. But that early in the morning? Trusty old Ryan air landed 15 minutes early in Milan. We were outside the airport in next to no time and after asking the MSC lady whether she knew where the Costa rep was (what’s new Costa) and finding her, we started waiting. Not even a Coach in sight! We eventually got on the coach at about 12h30 and went to another terminal before we set off. Panic over. When we arrived at Savona the terminal was still full of people waiting to board. This was around 16h00 and we were supposed to leave at 17h00. Thankfully we have priority boarding and after filling in the usual forms we were on board. We nipped off to our cabin and got our cards and headed for the atrium bar to have a drink before the emergency drill. I am not going to comment about the drill. I know it is annoying but it has to be done. The Pacifica is a lovely ship. She is similar in layout to the Magica, Serena and Fortuna with the 3 bars at the back on deck 5, the Grand bar in the middle on deck 5 and the atrium bar on deck 3. We did get the pronunciation of the name wrong. PahCheePheekah. Considering she is a few years old, the only thing that I felt needed upgrading, was the carpeting. The decor is the usual Costa idea. Quite bright, but certainly not as vile as some would let you believe. Are cruise ships not about a bit of bling? We had a classic balcony cabin on deck 6 towards the aft area of the ship just above the piano bar. The only night I was woken by noise was the last one when the suit case collection happened. The cabin was clean and well-kept by the lovely Gilda. We do not take part in the activities but there were lots of people who take dancing very seriously and dressed the part down to the proper dancing shoes. I wondered how many suit cases they had because one lady had a different pair to match every outfit. We only went to the theatre twice and neither performances were brilliant. Sury Boltman performed and we previously saw him on the NeoRomantica. I think the show was identical to that one. There was also a tenor who had an OK voice but he had a break after every song and was just mopping himself and having a drink of water. He did not even have a bit of music playing whilst he was mopping. We skipped most of the others because the illusionist sounded as if it was the same woman who performed on the Diadema when we were on her in February and she was pretty poor. If there was any decent dancing we missed it. The performers in the bars were so- so. We were disappointment again. The last time we had excellent performers on board was the Serena. The service varied. As usual the excursion desk and hospitality desks were poor. The bar and restaurant staff was different on this ship being mostly from Brazil and Peru. They were mostly friendly but we did not really connect with anyone in particular and I thought their English was not as good as the usual crew from the Philippines and India. We had a little disaster with the evening meals. We asked for early sitting but then upgraded to a balcony and did not mention this again. I think it was usual to get second sitting for classic cabins but Gold Pearl (hubby) used to get an option to change. I think this has actually changed with the new Costa club and would advise people to read the fine print. We ended up with second sitting which is too late for us. The result was eating in the Pizza pay restaurant nearly every evening. We were well looked after by Maryane and Marcella but it was not easy to have a conversation due to the language issue previously mentioned. The place was mostly deserted except for Costa officers and us. We ate lunch in the MDR a few times and the food was OK. It has become a little samey over the recent years and like the entertainers I recognised some of the dishes. There is an evening buffet between 7 and 9. It started later on the days we left port late (Le Havre and Dover). The food was not great. Breakfast was also a little different. The last few times hot food was only available in the MDR. On the Pacifica they had self-service hot food (scrambled egg, boiled eggs, bacon, sausages and rosti). This was also available in the grill area on the pool deck. The also made omelettes and fried eggs at this station. We only had lunch at the buffet once. We went to the grill and had hamburgers. The chips were very good but I though the hamburger buns were too dry. Usually the passengers on Costa are pre-dominantly Italian and French which a fair amount of Germans. This time they were pre-dominantly German. I have never seen so many glasses of beer been drunk on a Costa ship before. This brings me to the drinks package. The Piu Gusto is very good value for money because it includes most of the listed cocktails, wine by the glass etc. Premium brands of spirits are excluded but if you want a decent G+T you can ask for Gordons and tonic for example. There are packages available on ship that is not available to look at on line. The ports: Savona-did not explore as this was embarkation day and we have been there many times before. Marseille: The weather was a bit dismal and we only had the morning. We spent it looking for a shop to buy deodorant as we both forgot to pack! Day at sea. It was blustery and rough when we left Marseille but improved the next day. I spent my day reading and hubby was watching BBC documentaries he recorded on the iPlayer. Cadiz: Another slightly bleak and windy day. We were planning to go to Gibraltar but the excursion was cancelled due to lack of English speakers. It saved our bacon because it would have been miserable on that rock. We were walking about looking for a restaurant and it looked as if the heavens were about to open. We went into a little neighbourhood bar and had a small glass of beer each, 80 cents! We had our meal at the restaurant next door and it was mainly full of tourists though we were the first in. I had a few Tapas and hubby had an enormous T-bone steak. The food was fine but not exceptional. What was exceptional was that it was raining so hard that that the restaurant had its own waterfall coming through one of the light fittings. We decided to go back to the ship and got absolutely drenched. About Cadiz: They now have a tourist kiosk just outside the port gate and can supply you with a map. The streets have coloured markings on and you can follow various routes. We have done this in the past and did not repeat the same. Lisbon: It’s a lovely city but very hilly. Once again we got off the ship in pouring rain and had to take shelter. The ship docks close to the Alfama area so it is a bit of a walk to the centre. There were HoHo buses, Taxis and Tuktuks. The station was just across the road from the ship. We walked to the Praca do Comercio where we asked about the Tram 28. You buy a ticket on the tram but as mentioned on TripAdvisor it is jam packed all year round. The HoHo ones look the same and they were empty. We decided to just walk about. Did I mention hills? We planned lunch at the Café Lisboa at the Opera House. It is one of Jose Avillez's restaurants. So off we went to find it. Stairs at steep angles! We found it and booked a table and wandered off to explore the area. I noticed there were free walking tours on one of the squares. By now I have already exceeded my daily steps (step counter on phone, I have now upgraded to a wrist band), and opted to sit and people watch and have a beer instead. We went on to have the best meal of our trip. We decided on small plates instead of a starter and mains. He takes traditional Portuguese dishes and presents them in a more modern way. We had spider crab, croquettes, 2 different pies and prawns. I had a pastei natia for desert. Everything divine. We also had a bottle of “green wine”. Gorgeous. What goes up must come down. Down all those steps back to the Praca. It was now bathed in glorious sunshine and we decided to have a drink at the Beer Museum. Not beer though, the lovely light “Green wine” that they make locally. Then there was a sudden down pour. Seems to be a theme to our holiday. As I have exceeded my steps by far we got a TukTuk back to the ship. It was starting to rain again. Vigo: The town with amazing sculptures and……hills. My plan was to go to the tourist office to get some brochures because it was very difficult to see properly on the maps on the Vigo tourism app. We got a map as we left the ship but it was not what I wanted. WARNING: the tourism office does not open till 10am. So off we went and it was not raining. Just overcast and a little bleak looking. It’s a pretty town to stroll around. The castle was a bridge too far. I know from TripAdvisor and CC lots of people go up for the amazing view but I could not face the trek. I had a misinterpretation about lots of seafood restaurants close to the fish market. They turned out to be Oyster Street which is very touristy. Here we had our most bizarre meal ever. The restaurant was pretty deserted when we arrived. The Spanish eat later than us. I had calamari to start and Hubby and 6 oysters. We then shared a seafood platter. The owner’s wife took it on herself to see that we ate the food in the correct order and this left the spider crab for last. She then prepared this for us by adding white meat, prawns and muscles as well as something like a tomato salsa. This was then ladled onto pieces of toast and we were told to “eat”. She was very sweet but for 2 reserved Brits this was a bridge too far. Another day at sea: Did the same thing as previously. This evening we ate in the Samsara restaurant because we get a complimentary meal in one of the pay for restaurants. We were not in the main section of the restaurant which was good. The menu follows the same format as the MDR but the courses are a little more adventurous. Hubby had a pasta dish with fresh tuna and said some did not taste quite right. I was not keen to check which was a good thing because he spent the night with food poisoning symptoms and was very ill the next day. He spent the whole day sleeping. We did not make a complaint. Le Havre: The sun shone! Hubby was ill in bed and I spent the day on the balcony frying my white legs and reading my book. We did not have much planned for the day so it was not a great loss. Dover: Now this was a surprise! We often do driving holidays to France. We never use the ferries so we leave the motorway to get the train to cross. I cannot recall whether Costa had a transfer to town. There was a bus which ran into town and up to Dover Castle and stopped a few other places. It is not the usual HoHo. I have unfortunately forgotten the name and fee but we thought it was very reasonable at the time. They accepted Euros and Pounds and I think US dollars as well. There were some issues getting a bus back to the ship around lunch time and they really did not plan for this. The distance from the town centre to the port was a lot further than I anticipated and it was really not scenic with massive road works. I would avoid walking this due to the high volumes of traffic and fuel fumes you’re likely to breathe in if you did. We went up to Dover castle and actually found it a really pleasant visit. Do I sound surprised? We live in England and often find visiting attractions here an absolute rip off. We walked around, visited the medieval tunnels (waste of time), the underground hospital (it would be better if they did not have the silly special effects as it did nothing for either of us), and the castle. I thought this was good despite two volunteers telling me two totally different stories. The best part of the visit ? 2 pots of proper English tea! Another day at sea: Same as before. There were some quizzes and dance lessons but we don’t partake in these. Hubby calls it Butlin’s at sea. Never been to Butlin’s so I don’t know if he is right about that. Hamburg: The route towards the city is really pretty on the river. It is worth getting up a little earlier to sit and watch. I think the captain was a bit over confident getting the ship into the bit of the river where the new cruise terminal is and we were stuck until a tug came to our rescue. The terminal is very new and we managed to get our cases quickly. The plan was to get the shuttle to the central station and then a taxi to our hotel as we booked for a post cruise stay. We found the waiting area after asking many people and waited, and waited. The crowds were building by this time and I was getting irritated. We walked to the taxi area and got a very expensive taxi to our hotel. Our lady driver in her Mercedes was very speedy and we were at the hotel in next to no time. Sofitel Alterwal Hamburg: We chose this hotel because of its location and because hubby is an Accor member. The room was an upgrade and had a lovely seating area with a large television, coffee machine, fridge full of expensive drinks and a gorgeous bathroom with bath and shower. The bed had two single duvets and was a little soft for my liking. It was like sleeping on a giant marshmallow. We were very close to the Rathouse and restaurants. There was a large shopping centre close by and we manage to get a few bottles of wine to put in the fridge rather than use the expensive bar in the hotel. We did however have our freebie glass of wine which came with lovely snacks at 10 Euros each. We did not eat breakfast in the hotel because it was really expensive. There is a little restaurant/take away very close to the hotel where we had fresh orange juice, coffee, a roll and a pastry for 15 Euros. Hamburg is a lovely clean city and the area around the hotel was easy to explore. We wanted to see more of the city and rather than use public transport the hotel staff suggest using HoHo which stopped outside the hotel. BIG mistake! Though they are called HoHo they do not stop at every stop and we found the first guide on the bus extremely rude. He was on the top deck and we were unable to hear what he said. Hubby asked him whether he spoke English only to be told very curtly: “Yes, I went to school and you should have listened to what I said earlier”. So we were none the wiser and as we whizzed past places we wanted to get off, decided that it was indeed a bad choice. It stopped at the harbour area and we had to wait for a long while before we managed to get another one. We eventually ended at the Central station where it stopped for over half an hour before it set off again. We wanted to go to the botanical gardens but it was getting late for lunch at this stage so we decided to give it a miss and got off close to Alex on the inner lake and did not use the bus again. Lesson learnt. We left early the next morning. There was a Metro close to the hotel with a train that went directly to the airport. It was a bit of a performance using the ticket machine but the tickets were very reasonable and the train was clean and quick. The only problem was getting the suitcases down the stairs which hubby obligingly did. We flew back to Heathrow on BA and our trusty Taxi man, Mark, collected us. We have now booked a spur of the moment Baltic cruise leaving Stockholm on 9 July. Costa slashed the price of some of the departures and old beady eyes himself saw this and we are booked and excited. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this voyage because the timing allowed us to complete an earlier Princess cruise; spend a week driving the northern lake region of Italy; pick up this cruise, and then put us in position to cruise back to the States. (We were ... Read More
We chose this voyage because the timing allowed us to complete an earlier Princess cruise; spend a week driving the northern lake region of Italy; pick up this cruise, and then put us in position to cruise back to the States. (We were celebrating our 60th anniversary/80th birthdays...while we both were still standing.) We've traveled Costa previously. Costa Cruise Line may not be for everyone; it has been good for/to us. For whatever reason, some travel agents will not book you on Costa. If you find this to be the case and you really like your agent, book the cruise yourself and having done that, transfer the booking to your travel agent. Failing that, book the cruise yourself and forget the agent. Costa, in Europe, caters to typically not less than 6 nationalities aboard the ship. Your announcements are therefore (typically) in 6 different languages! Italian, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English. With the increase in Asian tourists, do not be surprised if additional groups are catered to. The preceding isn't bad, it just "is". Since the groups mentioned are on board, the ship's tours are offered in the respective language. That's the good news. The bad new if not enough people of a group book the tour; the tour is cancelled. The option is to join another group's "language" tour. The tour office is well organized and joining the correct tour is typically a non-event. Regarding dining room seating, somehow you are seated with a group that speaks your language. The food is OK. Formal nights are a farce (at least on this cruise). Tennis shorts and sweater around the neck was allowed. Entertainment was generally good+. The "My Way" dining room is less crowded since the majority of guests opt for the NY one. Service was fine in the dining room. Their main floor show is excellent with good cast. The other shows are good/typical. As with all cruises, there are daily events throughout the day such as lectures/demonstrations/movies and such. Their Internet room is fine. There are also stores in which to shop and naturally a Casino. Their "front desk" will change money (U.S./Euro/Pounds) which is important since you'll need $20 in pounds if you are going on a tour in Britain and plan to snack/have coffee. If Costa is going at the time you want to go; to the place(s) you want to go...the go with Costa...if nothing else, the price will be right! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
When travel with Costa you are treated like cattle that is there only for them to milk money out of you without showing you any respect. What about informing you att 22 in the evening that you must leave the cabin att 8 in the morning ... Read More
When travel with Costa you are treated like cattle that is there only for them to milk money out of you without showing you any respect. What about informing you att 22 in the evening that you must leave the cabin att 8 in the morning for the only reason that they are saving on personnel costs. Or lying to you and claiming that you must buy a bus-ticket for 14 EUR because there are no other way to get to the city and then you find out there is local bus for 2 EUR that goes twice as often as the costa-bus. Or closing a line to the buffé as soon as the queue is less than 20 minutes which means that we who where traveling with a baby could not eat together because one of us always had to stand in line while the other one took care of the baby. In general, Costa are extremely bad at communication. Before going to the cruise checked the webpage closely and wrote three e-mails asking the basic question: "From where does the ship depart?". They could not even provide that information. Luckily it was easy to find anyway. When arriving at the port everything was chaotic, no information about what to do with your bag and how to board. You have to stand in line with 1000 other persons in a tent to find out you need to dump your bag at another location, and then fill out some health-declaration without being provided a pen or some table to write against. Another typical example of costa-communication is you get informed about "you can register your credit card here or there". However, you never get any information about why you should register the card.... I could go on forever with examples about costas bad communication but the bottom line is that it will cost you plenty of money and time.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We like very much to dance during our journeys. That`s why we expected to enjoy of much international social dancing with good evergreen dance hits. Instead we had to follow presentations of experienced dancers, who took part in everyday ... Read More
We like very much to dance during our journeys. That`s why we expected to enjoy of much international social dancing with good evergreen dance hits. Instead we had to follow presentations of experienced dancers, who took part in everyday dance lessons. Music was performed by a duo and young dj`s. Most of the music was replays of the music played during the dance lessons including not so familiar dances like paso doble, wienerwaltz, mazurka, merengue, group dances, etc. We waited in vain to dance with the music of such superstars as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley and like. We think that we were not the only ones. Dance lessons belong to dance schools. In overall we were satisfied with the cruise. Costa Magica was as fine ship we expected. The personnel was friendly. The weather during the cruise was fine and we saw many interesting places. Especially satisfied we were with our cabin steward Mervin who was very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. Accommodation, ship, staff and the food was simply some of the best I have had on my dozen cruises. The passenger make up was mainly Italian, but few English but many English speaking foreign ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. Accommodation, ship, staff and the food was simply some of the best I have had on my dozen cruises. The passenger make up was mainly Italian, but few English but many English speaking foreign nationals. My one concern was safety. We attended the lifeboat drill, were actually some of the first there and led our line. It was disappointing to see some of the staff pay scant attention to what was going on and chatting during instructions in languages other than Italian. It also went on for 45/50 minutes, far too long. But hey when your most infamous ship is Costa Concordia why not? However, a day later we received curt letter asking why we hadn't turned up for the drill. We told reception we had been there and had time dated pictures to prove it (our family insisted we didn't miss it because of ship's reputation and we sent them pictures). They told us not to worry, but next day another letter asking why we missed a second drill and ordering us to watch something on tv and sign a form to say we had...and so it went on - and we got more and more cross. Repeated visits to reception ...to get off our backs, and while it might be considered admirable to pursue this - apparently staff should have swiped our cards on the day to show we attended. If it hadn't been an exercise they might needlessly be looking for us when we were on deck in line where we were supposed to be. Staff were very lax. So Costa clearly not learnt their lesson. Much to improve in safety marshalling. The rest was awesome and drinks package worthwhile. Really fab cruise, we managed Savonna, Milan on extra time plus Valencia (good), Palermo (dump), Naples (superb), Palma (lovely), Barcelona - speaks for itself. Entertainment was superb. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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